TOP NEWS: Democracy: October 15th, 2012
COUNTDOWN TO ELECTION: 21 DAYS
Top Five News and Analysis Links (Excerpts Below)
- G.O.P. Ticket Focuses on Crucial Ohio Votes
- The 2012 Answer—and What Comes Next
- Why One Bad Debate Sapped Obama’s Strength
- Which Millionaire Are You Voting For?
- Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania Senator, Dead at 82
More top news and analysis: (Updates coming shortly)
LOCAL RACES/SWING STATES: G.O.P. Ticket Focuses on Crucial Ohio Votes - NYT
TRIP GABRIEL,THOMAS KAPLAN: The Republican ticket has all but taken up residence in vital Ohio: Mitt Romney spent four days in the state this week and Representative Paul D. Ryan two, with plans to return Monday.
SWING STATES: New Mayor In Ohio, Big To-Do List - NYT, DAN BARRY
Mayor Holly Brinda, a fourth-generation resident of Elyria, Ohio, remains hopeful despite cutbacks that have cost city jobs and reduced city services.
CAMPAIGN ADS: Despite Ad Barrage, Two Incumbents Vying for One Seat Still Feel Unheard - NYT, JONATHAN WEISMAN
Two House members from Ohio are worried that their messages are being drowned out by thousands of attack ads.
LOCAL RACES/POLLS: G.O.P. Senate Hopes Fade, Even as Romney’s Rise, Polls Show - NYT, NATE SILVER
The FiveThirtyEight forecast model now gives Republicans just about a 16 percent chance of winning control of the Senate. This is a precipitous drop from just two months ago.
LOCAL RACES/HOUSE: US Democrats tipped to narrow House gap - FT
Political analysts predict smaller Republican majority
ELECTIONS 2012: The 2012 Answer—and What Comes Next - BLOOMBERG, Peter Coy
To paraphrase another president, whether we are better off now than we were four years ago depends on the meaning of “we,” not to mention the meaning of “better off,” and even the meaning of “four years ago.”
ELECTIONS 2012/THE CLINTONS: Bill & Hillary Forever - NY MAGAZINE, John Heilemann
If Obama wins, it may be because the former president saved his presidency—but what exactly do the Clintons get in return?
ELECTIONS 2012: What If Candidates Ran Without Horse Race? - NYT, ROOM FOR DEBATE
What would a presidential election be like if the media neither commissioned nor reported on any polls.
ECONOMIC POLICY: Vote Obamney! - NYT, ADAM DAVIDSON
The biggest secret of the election is that the candidates basically agree about the economy.
HEALTHCARE POLICY: Death By Ideology - NYT, PAUL KRUGMAN
Despite what Mitt Romney says, the lack of health insurance does kill people.
LIBYA POLICY: Two Sides Trade Criticism Over Libya Attack - NYT
Republicans described a failure to protect Americans and Democrats accused them of exploiting an incident almost certain to surface in Tuesday’s presidential debate.
*More Elections 2012 News and Analysis Below
DEBATES: OBAMA-ROMNEY: Why One Bad Debate Sapped Obama’s Strength – BUSINESSWEEK, Joshua Green
Until just over a week ago, President Obama’s campaign was on the cusp of doing something unprecedented in modern presidential politics: turning the election into a referendum on the challenger, Mitt Romney. Why is that so special? Because every prior example of an incumbent running for reelection in recent times has wound up being a referendum on the guy in the White House.
DEBATES: Moderator Role Under Scrutiny — Before Debate - TIME, MARK HALPERIN
In a rare example of political unity, both the Romney and Obama campaigns have expressed concern to the Commission on Presidential Debates about how the moderator of the Tuesday town hall has publicly described her role, TIME has learned.
DEBATE PREP: Obama’s Goal: Don’t Repeat Mistakes of Last Debate - NYT
The president huddled with advisers in Virginia not to study facts, but to work on delivering a performance that doesn’t repeat mistakes he made in his first debate with Mitt Romney.
*More Debate News and Analysis Below
VOTERS: Which Millionaire Are You Voting For? – NYT, NICHOLAS CARNES
In our great democracy, we rarely have the option to put someone in office who isn’t part of the elite.
VOTERS: Will Romney Get a Boost from Low-Information Voters? - TIME, ALEX ALTMAN
As his standing in the polls improves, Mitt Romney is piling up public endorsements from a new cohort of voters: the celebrity train-wreck set.
VOTER DATA MINING: Campaigns Mine Personal Lives to Get Out Vote - NYT
The Obama and Romney campaigns are using the personal information of voters to, in effect, train people to go to the polls through subtle cues, rewards and threats.
VOTER REGISTRATION: Voter Registration Rolls in 2 States “Vulnerable to Hackers” - NYT, NICOLE PERLROTH
Computer security experts have identified vulnerabilities in the voter databases in Maryland and Washington State, raising concerns about the ability of hackers to disenfranchise voters.
COLLEGE VOTERS: Colleges Take a Leap Into Voter Registration - NYT
STEVEN YACCINO: By incorporating voter sign-up into campus musts like orientation and class registration, universities have taken over work previously handled by outside groups.
ARLEN SPECTER: Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania Senator, Is Dead at 82 - NYT
SHERYL GAY STOLBERG: Mr. Specter was at the center of many of the Senate’s most divisive legal battles, only to lose his seat in 2010 after quitting the Republican Party to become a Democrat.
CAMPAIGN FUNDING: Jackson Is Subject of Criminal Probe - WSJ
Federal prosecutors and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are in the final stages of a criminal probe into allegations that Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. misused campaign money to decorate his house.
SUPREME COURT: Roberts and the Left - WSJ, Jason L. Riley
The chief justice’s questions in a case involving racial preferences ought to calm wary conservatives
ADVENTURE RECORD: 24 Miles, 4 Minutes and 834 M.P.H., All in One Jump - NYT
In a 24-mile jump, Felix Baumgartner, a professional daredevil, became the first sky diver to break the speed of sound. “It was harder than I expected,” he said.
GAY RIGHTS: Christian Group Finds Gay Agenda in an Anti-Bullying Day - NYT
The American Family Association is urging parents to keep children home on a day when schools encourage students to eat lunch with someone they don’t usually speak to.
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: Rethinking Affirmative Action - NYT, DAVID LEONHARDT
Supporters of affirmative action still have a legal path open to them: giving preference based on socioeconomic status.
CLASS: The Self-Destruction of the 1 Percent – NYT, CHRYSTIA FREELAND
The top 1 percent cannot evade its share of responsibility for the growing gulf in American society.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Until Justice Is Served - NYT, ERROL MORRIS
There is a mountain of evidence supporting Jeffrey MacDonald and debunking the case against him. It has gone on for decades, but it should go on until justice is served.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE: A Prisoner’s Incompetence, a Judge’s Discretion – NYT, EDITORIAL
When a prisoner who is challenging a conviction is incompetent, judges should have the discretion to grant indefinite delays.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE/SC RULING: A Ruling’s Mixed Verdict - NYT
When the Supreme Court banned life sentences without parole for those under age 18 convicted of murder, it offered hope to some and pain to others.
HEALTHCARE: In Cancer Care, Cost Matters - NYT
Excluding a drug that’s no better, and twice as expensive, isn’t rationing — it’s rational.
HEALTH: HPV Vaccine Doesn’t Alter Sexual Behavior, Study Finds - NYT, ANAHAD O’CONNOR
Researchers found no evidence that girls who were vaccinated beginning around age 11 went on to engage in more sexual activity than girls who were not vaccinated.
LITERATURE NOBEL: The Nobel Prize for Political Literature - WSJ, Joseph Epstein
Tolstoy and Twain never won, but many obscure writers have. Criteria other than high art seem to be involved.
MORE ELECTION 2012 NEWS AND ANALYSIS:
LOCAL RACES/GOP: G.O.P. Fighting Libertarian’s Spot on the Ballot - NYT
JIM RUTENBERG: Concerned that the Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson could hurt the Romney campaign, Republicans across the country have been working to keep him off the ballot.
FOREIGN POLICY: Politicians trade accusations over attack in Libya on U.S. diplomatic post - WP
Axelrod says Romney is exploiting attack for political gain; Sen. Graham says Obama has misled public.
FOREIGN POLICY/LIBYA: Republicans intensify Benghazi assault - FT
Obama officials accused of misleading public over Libya raid.
FOREIGN POLICY: Axelrod: Romney “Working Hard To Exploit” Terror Attack In Libya (RCP/FOX NEWS) – RCP/FOX
Obama Senior Campaign Manager David Axelrod and Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace discuss Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter’s statement that the “entire reason” September 11, 2012 attack in Libya has become a political issue is because of Mitt Romney.
ROMNEY CENTRISM: Romney’s tack to the centre - FT
If the Republican is to win and govern he has to stay there
ANALYSIS/ROMNEY: Put a Chair Out - WSJ PEGGY NOONAN
A friend in Texas told me of some local difficulties in getting big Romney lawn signs. You know what Romney supporters who can’t find lawn signs should do? Put an empty chair on the lawn instead. Just one big empty chair. Says it all. Says it better.
ROMNEY ECONOMIC POLICY: Romney’s Go-To Economist - NYT, DAVID SEGAL
R. Glenn Hubbard, dean of the Columbia Business School, has helped to draft many of Mitt Romney’s economic and tax policies — and is often a cheerleader for them.
GOP ECONOMIC POLICY: Ryan Says GOP Win Would Spur a Tax Deal - WSJ
Paul Ryan said the presidential campaign is putting a focus on taxes and deficit cutting that could pave the way for a bipartisan overhaul if Mitt Romney wins the White House.
ROMNEY POLICY: The Radical Is Romney, Not Ryan - NYT, Steven Rattner
The Republican nominee’s proposed reductions in some key spending areas are far more draconian than those advanced by his running mate, Paul D. Ryan.
ROMNEY BACKGROUND: Making Mitt: The Myth Of George Romney - BUZZFEED, John R. Bohrer
The Republican nominee’s father didn’t walk out of the ’64 convention. And George Romney didn’t teach Mitt that you lose by being honest — he taught him that you change your positions to win.
ROMNEY HISTORY: As Massachusetts Governor, Romney Was Often Away - NYT
DANNY HAKIM: Particularly in the last two years of his term, Mitt Romney was often missing from Massachusetts on personal trips or political ones unrelated to his job.
OBAMA PHILOSOPHY: Reconsidering Obama the Pragmatist - NYT, HARVEY CORMIER
The president’s political philosophy can be traced to the work of William James. But can a pragmatist really effect the change we need?
VP POLICY: Veep Stakes - NEW YORKER, Steve Coll
The debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan sent a clear signal of what is at stake in next month’s vote…
PROXIES: A Messenger Who Does the Shooting - NYT
Stephanie Cutter has emerged as President Obama’s one-woman attack squad, and in the process has become a polarizing face of a campaign that until recently had been dominated by middle-aged white men.
GENERATION CLASH: What Biden Doesn’t Want You to Know - DAILY BEAST, by Niall Ferguson
What we saw last week was not just a contrast between Irish-American political styles. We saw the opening round in the clash of generations that will soon dominate American politics.
POLICY DEBATE: Claims on Abortion and Afghanistan Get a Closer Look - NYT
DAVID E. SANGER, SHERYL GAY STOLBERG: The vice-presidential debate on Thursday provoked heated discussion into the next day. Here are a look at two disputed claims.
GOP DIRECTION: Is There Life After Mitt? - NYT, MATT BAI
You might expect soul-searching on the right if Romney loses. Think again.
ROMNEY-RYAN POLICY: Paul Ryan’s Religious Radicalism - NEW YORKER, Adam Gopnik
The V.P. candidate’s response to the question of abortion and faith was oddly disarming in its inherent lack of self-awareness…
CAMPAIGN FOCUS: Big Bird Bust – WSJ, Jason L. Riley
David Axelrod wants to move on.
MORE DEBATE NEWS AND ANALYSIS:
DEBATE SETTING: Debate’s Setting Could Dull Barbs – WSJ
The presidential debate Tuesday will feature a town-hall style setting with voters posing questions. And they may be expecting real answers rather than hand-to-hand combat.
DEBATES/ROMNEY: Town-Hall Format Could Pose Challenge for Romney – RCP, Scott Conroy
In Tuesday night’s second head-to-head contest, one of his new tasks will be something Romney has faced throughout the six years he’s essentially run for the nation’s highest office: demonstrating that he feels the pain of regular voters and is able to connect with them on a human level.
OBAMA PREP: Obama to be more ‘aggressive’ in debate - FT
President seeks to regain ground after poll lead collapse
DEBATE AFTERMATH: Most Crucial Time for Candidates May Be After the Debate - NYT
If Tuesday’s debate is seen as a draw, the winner will be decided in the hours and days after, with perceptions shaped by whichever campaign manages the aftermath more effectively.
DEBATE MEDIA: TV Debates That Sell More Than Just Drama - NYT, DAVID CARR
While ratings for almost everything on television have sunk, big spectacles that hold some promise of spontaneity, like political debates in election years, have continued to thrive.
DEBATE SURGE: Bully for Biden - WSJ, Bret Stephens
Joe Biden’s performance blunted Mitt Romney’s surge. Mr. Romney will have to push back next week.
The Common Good publishes a U.S. domestic news digest every weekday, available here.